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May 7, 2012

Benefits of Hiring Older Workers

May is Older Americans Month, which celebrates our nation’s commitment to recognizing the contributions and achievements of older Americans.

This is a great time to talk about the benefits of hiring older workers.

Currently, there are many, many millions of Boomers (the generation born roughly between 1946-1964) who are 55 and over, and a good number of them want to continue working. Here are 5 characteristics of Boomers that make beefing up the count of this population in the workplace a great idea:

#1: Loyalty. The majority of this generation’s career life was most likely spent at one company. Typical boomers believe in staying in one job. Turnover is a big waste of company money and resources, and this is a huge concern with younger workers.

#2: Goal oriented. This generation grew up in an era of change, and truly believe they can make a difference. They are achievement oriented, and enjoy being challenged with unique and difficult projects.

#3: Committed: Boomers worked hard for their prestige, and are extremely motivated and defined by their position and professional accomplishments. Whether it’s staying longer to get the job done, or being extremely detail-oriented to turn out a perfect product, older workers are usually committed to going the extra mile.

#4: Confident. Years of experience has resulted in building the Boomers’ confidence in themselves and their ideas. They bring a lifetime of skills to the workplace.

#5: Pride in their job. Older workers tend to have a personal interest in the outcome and final product of their work. They WANT it to be productive, and they strive for success. Boomers can be counted on to be punctual and honest.

There are many benefits to having older workers participating in the workplace. Here are a few ways Boomers can provide a positive impact on the bottom line:

- They can be counted on to perform. Boomers’ drive accompanied by their commitment and loyalty to their jobs ensures that they can be counted on to handle the difficult, in-depth projects or the picky, hard to please clients.

- They can bring their experience. Years of experience in dealing with many unique situations gives older workers the knowledge to help processes run more efficiently. They have seen what works, and can assist in making certain there is minimal waste in the workplace.

- They can bring their organizational skills. It is estimated that over a million man hours are lost every year due to not being organized. Older workers are usually organized and adept at planning their day to maximize their productivity.

- They can be role models. Boomers can help train younger workers. A thoughtful mentor results in a more productive workforce as a whole, and a shorter learning curve for the younger employees.

Hiring older workers and having them be a part of the workplace has many benefits to any company. Boomers’ experience, loyalty, and confidence can increase productivity and decrease time wasted in terms of disorganization and turnover. This generation continues to be a great asset to the workforce.

~~Susan McCullah is the Product Development Director for Data Facts, a 23 year old Memphis-based company that provides employment screening solutions to companies nationwide. Check our our website for a complete explanation of our services.

Lisa May

Lisa May is the Executive Vice President for Data Facts.

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